flwyd: (tell tale heart)
Dragonfest was last week. I've been to several festivals and other large events in the last year, but Dragonfest is still my "home gathering." It's my speed, has the sorts of opportunities I like, and a surprising number of people know my name. The following summary is long and features some parts that are probably boring for folks who aren't attendees. But it's also got some personal triumphs and tribulations, so if you're into following my personal life, read on. If you just want to see pictures, they're here. I also just got stuff up for April through July. Brain dump, ho! )
flwyd: (Trevor shadow self portrait)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] slyviolet for alerting me to a wearable I Ching hexagram generator. I wonder if I could convince them to make a hat...

Not So Productive

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007 11:07 pm
flwyd: (escher drawing hands)
I just heard a remix of Orb's "Little Fluffy Clouds" with an English guy responding to "What were the skies like when you were little?" with "The skies were grey and monotonous and dull... It used to rain a lot. Like it is now." As the question gets asked again, he gets annoyed and repeats himself.

I was just reminded that today's the last day of Daylight Saving Time, meaning tomorrow is my least favorite holiday. I made sure to save up lots of daylight today; while my car's oil was changed and tires rotated, I basked in the sun in a black T-shirt and wrote. Words have been somewhat stilted, the flow isn't there. Hopefully I can build that soon, or 50,000 could be painful.

1790 words today: Ding - Establishing the New (Cauldron), Cui - Bringing Together. I did spend a bunch of time trying to convince my cat to eat antibiotics in pill pockets and/or wet food. I also donned my pirate hat and plundered Vitamin Cottage of its oat milk and cat food. But 1790 words on a day off is pretty pathetic. I want to keep writing for another hour, but I think it would be more frustrating than cathartic. At least I made a tasty potato/egg/onion/paprika/cinnamon omelette for dinner. I hope I'm able to fend off the cold lurking in my throat.

NaNoWriMo Day 1

Thursday, November 1st, 2007 10:04 pm
flwyd: (escher drawing hands)
Zhun - (Difficulty at the) Beginning done. 778 words. Here we go again!

NaNoWriMo 2007

Friday, October 26th, 2007 09:11 pm
flwyd: (escher drawing hands)
Last year I spent three weeks working on a lame novel and then thought of a better story. In ten days, while sick for much of it, I wrote over 14,000 words toward a goal of 50,000.

Next month (National Novel Writing Month 2007), I'm setting the odometer to 0, but picking my I Ching-based story up. I can write 50,000 words in November, especially since I already have a good sense of characters and my chapters are already laid out for me. You can watch my status or sign up yourself and add me as a "writing buddy." When I got to the "Novel Title" section I figured Sixty Four Chapters About Eight People was a good choice. iTunes random comes in handy yet again.

I've got Huang's translation to use as a base in addition to Wilhelm's. Venerable though it is, some of Wilhelm's quirks were starting to get to me. For one, I found it hard to discern what he meant by key concepts like The Abysmal (water). Wilhelm also had sections I could tell were poorly translated because he used words (such as "God") for which I know ancient Chinese lacked an equivalent with the same philosophical baggage. Huang grew up in China and studied with an old I Ching master when the Communists had banned the book. He explains how the ancient ideograms represent the meaning of the hexagrams, explains senses of the words and a bit of their linguistic evolution, and mentions word choices from other notable authors (Wilhlem and Blofeld). His goal for the book (which took several years and 7 complete drafts) is to provide a faithful translation without interpretation and to provide the reader with an understanding of the gestalt of the hexagrams in addition to their meaning in isolation. I'm sure I'll have more to say about this edition by December, but you could certainly do worse than to buy a copy of The Complete I Ching: The Definitive Translation by the Taoist Master Alfred Huang. (I do object to the term "Taoist Master," but I suppose it helps the book sell.)
flwyd: (escher drawing hands)
In three days (if you combine yesterday and today as a single unit of mostly sick) I've exceeded my word count for the first two thirds of the month. Combining the two stories (hey, creative word count inflation is legit), I've written 10,509 words this month. More than 20% to the goal and a whole week left. Is it achievable after all?

It's a good thing that [livejournal.com profile] tamheals was feeling uncomfortable about a Thanksgiving with my parents and had invited friends over. My fuzzy-brained possibly contageous self didn't have to drive anywhere, could snack on tasty food throughout the day, and didn't expose professional wind instrument players and octogenarians to scratchy throat/heavy mucous/spacy head illness.

Thanks to Tylenol and Jasmine green tea, I wrote my best text segment yet this evening. Comments welcome. Please pardon the forced line breaks and LaTeX formatting. I'm writing a novel with vim, you see. (As he hits <ESC> to go back and change a word.)

Chung Fu / Inner Truth )
flwyd: (escher drawing hands)
In two nights I've amassed 3297 words, well over half of what I produced in the first two plus weeks. Ku (mountain over wind, Work on What Has Spoiled [Decay]), Kuei Mei (thunder over lake, The Marrying Maiden) and Wei Chi (flame over water, Before Completion) have been fluidly well above the 762 word target and haven't induced extensive amounts of living room wandering and detail googling as my other attempt, so I think this version has potential. To hit the target I'll need to go hermit style on Friday through Sunday, but even if I fall short I've got the motivation to keep the ball rolling.
flwyd: (escher drawing hands)
I was planning on giving up on NaNoWriMo today, since I've written 5,000 words in 20 days. But then I got an idea.

When I signed up, most of the things I wanted to write were not novels (including musing about the word count algorithm and a 50,000 identifier program). I picked an idea with a guiding structure, but my heart wasn't really in it. It was a novel I could write to prove I could, but it wasn't what I really wanted to write.

So with ten days left, I did what a good project manager would do. Shelve the floundering Borges-inspired project and start fresh on something better structured to writing 5,000 words a day.

The I Ching provides eight convenient characters: Heaven, Earth, Thunder, Wind, Water, Fire, Mountain, and Lake. It also provides context for all sixty four possible combinations of those characters. If I write 64 short stories of 782 words, I hit the magical mark. And I think writing eight short pieces a day is more manageable than writing 45,000 words of a novel in ten days. Plus I can "cheat" by starting each "chapter" with the translated text for each hexagram.

It's time for I. Wish me Chin.

Update: 963 words in an hour and a half; only 76 from cheating. If I can keep that pace up for the balance of the month, I win.
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